| March 28
March 28 In the latest defections to hit
Washington, D.C., law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs, nine
partners are leaving the firm, according to several sources with
direct knowledge of the moves.
The departures come as the 350-lawyer Patton Boggs is in
merger talks with the larger Squire Sanders and it deals with
ongoing financial woes.
Two of the partners are among the top dozen performing
lawyers at the firm, according to one of the sources, who is
familiar with Patton Boggs but did not want to be named. One of
the parting lawyers, Benjamin Chew, led the commercial
litigation and antitrust group, while Kevin Boardman had been on
the firm's strategic planning committee.
According to the sources, Boardman and five other partners
are moving to McGuireWoods to open a Dallas office for the
Virginia firm, while Chew and another partner have accepted
offers at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
The departing partners either declined comment or did not
respond to requests for comment.
Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry did not
respond to several requests for comment. He told the National
Law Journal earlier this month that he expected between 15 and
20 partners to leave as the result of a forced reduction of
lawyers at the firm.
"There are people we've asked to leave who have not left
yet," he said in a March 8 email to Reuters, referring to a
number of layoffs and dismissals that the firm conducted in
Last summer, shortly after Patton Boggs announced there
would be firm-wide layoffs, 17 partners simultaneously announced
After the latest moves, Patton Boggs has 166 partners left,
according to the firm's website. The firm staffed as many as 600
lawyers and consultants in 2011, but the figure has fallen to
about 350, according to law firm tracking company Leopard
Revenue at Patton Boggs dropped by 12 percent from 2012 to
2013, to $278 million, according to figures in an internal memo
obtained by Reuters in January, and the firm recently hired
On Feb. 26 the firm announced it was in merger talks - for
at least the third time with another law firm in the last six
months - with the larger firm Squire Sanders.
The merger talks are considered by former Patton Boggs
lawyers and legal experts as a "make-or-break" deal for the firm
because of its growing financial strain.
The nine exiting partners come from various Patton Boggs
practice areas, including private equity, intellectual property,
litigation and antitrust, according to sources close to Patton
Boggs who did not want to be named.
(Reporting By Casey Sullivan; Editing by Ted Botha and Tom